Distinguished Alumni Awards

Jerry Fiddler

Jerry   Fiddler
To Jerry Fiddler for his vision, leadership, and design skills in the field of real-time systems and the development of embedded software products, including VxWorks, the opterating system used for the Mars Pathfinder space project.

Chairman and Co-founder, Wind River Systems, Alameda California

  • BA, 1974, Individual Plan of Study, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • MS, 1977, Computer Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Jerry Fiddler has made a major contribution to the field of computer science, and his work has affected society and improved our everyday lives. Wind River software can be found inside many of our commonly used consumer products, from desktop printers to cars. Countless major firms in peripherals, office automation, industrial, aerospace, and multimedia industries rely on Wind River Systems embedded system tools, real-time operating systems, development environments, and networking projects to run critical to several space missions, including Mars Pathfinder and Stardust.

The first real-time embedded system Fiddler ever built was a portable computer terminal he made for his MS thesis in computer science at UIUC. After graduating, he expanded on this type of work as a consultant, and eventually forming Wind River. Fiddler has developed a keen business acumen, and Wind River has been publicly traded since 1993. He lectures at the Haas Business School at the University of California, Berkeley, and was appointed a fellow of the school. One of Fiddler's strengths has been his ability to bring his broad range of interests and talents to his work. One of these interests is music, and as a guitarist and composer, he released his first CD in 1997 with the group Xaz.

Fiddler has expressed deep gratitude for the education he received at Illinois. In the past few years, he has presented a colloquium and participated in an Illinois Roundtable luncheon, and Xaz played at a Bay Area Illini reception.

Current as of 1999.